Karen Scott
President

Karen R. Scott, J.D. was born in the United States but grew up in Canada. She graduated from Walla Walla University, College Place, Washington (B.S.) and from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia (J.D.), after which she practiced law for eight years. She argued a religious liberty case before the Supreme Court of Canada. The Court decided unanimously in her client’s favor, setting a new precedent in Canada for work-place religious and disability accommodation.

Returning to the United States, she worked at the California Legislature where she monitored religious liberty and private education legislation, assisting both church schools and home schools. She also became a member of the State Bar of California. She served as In House Counsel for Educational Media Foundation, the parent nonprofit corporation of the K-LOVE and Air 1 Radio networks head-quartered in Rockin, California and later was Chaplain at Wheatland Retirement Village, an award winning retirement community in Walla Walla, Washington.

Karen co-produced Roger Williams: Freedom’s Forgotten Hero, a documentary on the life of Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The film aired on a PBS station as part of the 2003 Fourth of July celebrations.

Karen regularly speaks at teachers’ conventions, women’s ministry retreats, churches, lawyers’ meetings, atheist and humanist groups, high schools, colleges and other events and has appeared on both radio and TV concerning liberty of conscience issues.

She was a member of Humanities Washington’s Inquiring Minds Speakers Bureau. An Advisory Board member for Artists for Human Rights, Karen obtained a Master of Studies in 2011 in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. Protecting religious belief and conviction in the workplace was the topic of her dissertation.

She now resides with her husband Darel in the picturesque Walla Walla Valley, serving as a humble barista in a thriving coffee shop called The Black Cup Coffee Co. It specializes in fair trade, organic, non-GMO coffees, syrups, and food items, from sustainable farming sources. This business helps Karen further share the importance of educating and protecting human rights and the environment. Its motto is: "Conscience in a cup."

Derek Davis
Secretary/Treasurer

Derek H. Davis, Ph.D., B.A., M.A., J.D., Ph.D., is a graduate of Baylor University and Baylor Law School and holds a Master of Arts in Church-State Studies from Baylor University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is Dean of the College of Humanities and Dean of the Graduate School at Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton, Texas. He directed the UMHB Center for Religious Liberty.

From 1995 to 2006 he was the Director of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University, and from 1993 to 2006, Editor of Journal of Church and State. Dr. Davis is a fellow, director and officer of the International Academy for Freedom of Religion and Belief, serves on the advisory council of the Interfaith Religious Liberty Foundation, is on the advisory board of The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, is a member of the Religious Liberty Council of the National Council of Churches U.S.A., is a member of the Board of Experts for the International Religious Liberty Association, is listed in Who’s Who in American Law and Who’s Who in the World, and has served as Special Counsel to the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs.

In 2000, he was awarded the Human Rights Achievement Award by Freedom magazine, and in 2004, the Honor of Merit by the International Religious Liberty Association for leadership in advancing religious freedom. In 2007 he was named Theologian-in–Residence by Kansas University. He is also a former Baylor University football captain and all-conference receiver. He is the author of Original Intent: Chief Justice Rehnquist & the Course of American Church-State Relations (1991 by Prometheus Books), and Religion and the Continental Congress, 1774-1789: Contributions to Original Intent (2000 by Oxford University Press).

He is the editor or coeditor of fourteen additional books, including The Role of Religion in the Making of Public Policy (1991), Legal Deskbook for Administrators of Independent Colleges and Universities (1993), Problems and Conflicts Between Law and Morality in a Free Society (1993), Genesis and the Millennium: An Essay on Religious Pluralism in the Twenty-first Century by Bill Moyers (2000), Welfare Reform and Faith-Based Organizations (1999), Religious Liberty in Northern Europe in the Twenty-first Century (2000), and International Perspectives on Freedom of Religion and Belief (2002).

He is currently working on a Handbook on Church and State in the United States for Oxford University Press. He has also published more than one hundred forty articles in various law reviews, academic journals, magazines, etc. His frequent magazine, radio, and television interviews have included those for Time Magazine, First Things, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, National Public Radio, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, CNN, the Fox News Network, CBS News, and ABC News.

In recent years he has been called upon by the U.S. Congress, the Texas legislature, and United Nations emissaries for testimony relating to legal measures needed to protect religious liberty in national and international settings. He has lectured extensively before academic, public, and religious audiences on a wide range of topics including religious liberty (national and international), church-state relations (ancient, medieval, and modern), human rights, ethnic cleansing, the political role of Christianity and other religions, civil religion, nontraditional religions, religious dimensions of the American founding, law and morality, and religion and education.